exact

verb
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \
exacted; exacting; exacts

Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain from them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice— D. D. Eisenhower
2 : to call for as necessary or desirable

exact

adjective

Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting or marked by strict, particular, and complete accordance with fact or a standard
2 : marked by thorough consideration or minute measurement of small factual details

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Other Words from exact

Verb

exactable \ ig-​ˈzak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce exactable (audio) \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ ig-​ˈzak-​tər How to pronounce exacter (audio) \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce exactness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exact

Verb

demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Adjective

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Do you exact or extract revenge?

Verb

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

Did You Know?

Verb

Exact derives from a form of the Latin verb exigere, meaning "to drive out, to demand, or to measure." (Another descendant of exigere is the word exigent, which can mean "demanding" or "requiring immediate attention.") Exigere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix ex- with the verb agere, meaning "to drive." Agere has been a very prolific source of words for English speakers; it is the ancestor of agent, react,mitigate, and navigate, just to name a few. Incidentally, if you are looking for a synonym of the verb exact, you could try demand, call for,claim, or require.

Examples of exact in a Sentence

Verb They would not rest until they had exacted revenge. He was able to exact a promise from them. Adjective Those were his exact words. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. We don't know the exact nature of the problem. Predicting the path of hurricanes is not an exact science. The police have an exact description of the killer. Please take the most exact measurements possible. He is very exact in the way he solves a problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hassig said many pushing for a faster opening often haven’t had first-hand experience with severe cases of the disease, which exact their terrible toll away from public view in the intensive care units of hospitals. Jeff Adelson, NOLA.com, "Are parts of south Louisiana ready to move to a Phase 3 reopening? Many 'are nowhere close'," 7 Sep. 2020 Achieving herd immunity without a vaccine would exact a heavy toll. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Will the US achieve COVID-19 herd immunity before a vaccine?," 3 Sep. 2020 After last year’s 50-7 loss in Death Valley, A&M is looking to exact revenge on the Tigers. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "Game-by-game predictions for Texas A&M in 2020: How will the Aggies fare with five Top 25 opponents?," 2 Sep. 2020 While that restriction prevents hackers from executing commands on files outside of the directory, hackers may be able to exact more damage by uploading scripts that can carry out actions on other parts of a vulnerable site. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Hackers are exploiting a critical flaw affecting >350,000 WordPress sites," 1 Sep. 2020 Not relying on a traumatic smartphone video to do the heavy lifting of in-depth reporting may seem antithetical to some, who could argue that the public needs to see these videos to be able to exact justice. Allissa V. Richardson, The Atlantic, "The Killing Is Not the Content," 30 Aug. 2020 Ingo Froböse says those sacrifices exact a heavy toll. Nate Lanxon, Bloomberg.com, "Pro Video Gamers Facing Burnout Get Support Like Footballers Do," 28 Aug. 2020 The study also offers hope that some small number of infected people who have taken antiretroviral therapy for many years may similarly be able to suppress the virus and stop taking the drugs, which can exact a toll on the body. Apoorva Mandavilli New York Times, Star Tribune, "A woman may have been cured of HIV without medical treatment," 27 Aug. 2020 But feeling like yourself after two season-ending injuries requires more than rebuilding the body, because injuries like those exact a mental toll, too. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "Saints DT Sheldon Rankins is chasing who he used to be — and something more," 22 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Head coach Demond Stafford’s squad last year featured a junior class-laden team, about 33 percent of the roster to be exact. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park, Pasadena ISD teams rearing to compete in changed district," 18 Sep. 2020 All members must make TikTok videos, three a day to be exact. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About TikTok's Hype House," 17 Sep. 2020 This year's Hollywood shutdown isn't deterring Lifetime's plans for festivities — a healthy chunk of the slate was filmed prior — and the network is planning a full-on blizzard of new Christmas movies, original and acquired; 30 of them, to be exact. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "All the details on Lifetime's 30 Christmas movies: See first-look photos," 17 Sep. 2020 But the man had come to Gordon’s Eastern Shore restaurant, Latitude 38, with an entourage — four cars, to be exact. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Kanye West dines at restaurant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore," 2 Sep. 2020 And thanks to West Elm, this gorgeous wicker basket with leatherette straps is packed to the gills with accessories — four porcelain plates, four forks, four knives, four spoons, four wine glasses and one corkscrew, to be exact. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "What is cottagecore? Shop the latest teen trend," 28 Aug. 2020 And, of course, there are plenty of cute dresses available in the Anniversary Sale (108 to be exact!). Alex Warner, PEOPLE.com, "Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale Has So Many Cute Dresses for Fall — Here Are 7 of Our Favorites," 28 Aug. 2020 Only a fraction of Liaoning province’s islands — 44 to be exact — are inhabited. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "You Could Rent an Entire Island in China for As Little As $535 a Year," 27 Aug. 2020 This is how experts calculated the storm’s risk and why predictions aren’t exact. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "How a hurricane forecast predicts an ‘unsurvivable’ storm surge," 27 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exact

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exact

Verb

Middle English exacten "to require as payment," borrowed from Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task), require, inquire into, examine" from ex- ex- entry 1 + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do, perform" — more at agent

Adjective

borrowed from Latin exāctus, from past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, require, inquire into, examine, measure" — more at exact entry 1

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Time Traveler for exact

Time Traveler

The first known use of exact was in 1533

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Statistics for exact

Last Updated

22 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exact. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb
How to pronounce exact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal
: to demand and get (something, such as payment or revenge) especially by using force or threats
used in phrases like exact a terrible toll and exact a high/heavy price to say that something has caused a lot of suffering, loss, etc.

exact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: fully and completely correct or accurate
: very careful and accurate

exact

adjective
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \

Kids Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: completely correct or precise : accurate an exact copy the exact time

Other Words from exact

exactly adverb
exactness noun

exact

verb
exacted; exacting

Kids Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to demand and get by force or threat They exacted terrible revenge.

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Comments on exact

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